Feliz Navidad: Go Tell it in Linares!
“Naw…dat ain’t da true meaning of Christmaaaaass!”
When I was around the age of 10 (I think), I proudly wrote a Christmas skit and forced my sister Erin to perform it with me during one of our Advent services. All I really remember is pretending to sell snow globes in the local market area and then the scene ending with a dramatic realization that stuff isn’t not what Christmas is all about. I remember being excited and really nervous to pull off a “white-girl Antiguan accent” in front of everyone and now looking back I can’t believe my dad and mom let us do it (or that my sister has forgiven me)!
Never again did I think I would feel those nerves…
Until the youth at our church very enthusiastically chose Jon and I to be María & José for the youth Christmas pageant. (“Yeah, you have to be María and José!” “Now you can practice having a baby!”)
And so began the flashbacks and the nerves to be in a skit in front of church this time speaking Spanish!
But, apart from the nerves, it was beyond wonderful to work with the youth at our church to make our Christmas service meaningful.
A couple weeks before Christmas, under the watchful eye of Erika (or la directora), the youth spent a Saturday cleaning and decorating the church. They sent up benches outside for an outdoor service, hung up tons of decorations, set up a Christmas tree, painted a Christmas mural and passage on the windows, and created a giant Christmas tree out of fabric. They also organized costumes for the skit and practiced the songs they were going to sing. They were all genuinely excited to be there and to squirt each other while watering the plants.
The morning of Christmas Eve day, the youth got together again to have a dress rehearsal for the Christmas skit that evening.
The Christmas skit was written by church members. It begins with Christmas characters emerging out of a large box. First comes Mary and Joseph, then a sheep, a Magi, a shepherd, and an angel. They are all crinky from being in the box too long and quickly realize that they have to organize themselves into the manger scene for Christmas! BUT… something is missing and they just can’t figure out what. Santa Claus emerges from the box and declares himself to be the most important but he is booed away. Santa is followed by a perfect present, a beautiful doll. She too declares herself to be most important but also is booed. Finally, after much deliberation, Mary (played by yours truly) declares “It’s baby Jesus! He’s the one that’s missing!” The characters then form a manager scene and Jesus is put into Mary’s arms as the angel reminds everyone what the true meaning of Christmas is. End Scene.
Beautiful and creative isn’t it? I wish you could have seen how excited and nervous the youth were as we sat in the box and waited to begin.
What a wonderful experience to celebrate Christmas outside!
During the Christmas service and after the youth skit, we sang many Christmas hymns, one being “Go tell it on the mountain.” After singing through the verses Pastor switched it up and led the congregation in singing “Go tell it in Linares.”
What a beautiful way to end a Christmas service. Christ came. He saved. and now let’s go tell others!